Local veteran and his family gifted new home after Hurricane Michael damage

Published: Aug. 22, 2021 at 11:05 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - What one gift could you give for an individual who has laid his life on the line for the greater good of our country?

Bill Locke is a dual-military veteran, having served in both the Army and Navy. He and his wife Martha had been living in their Panama City home for 30 years before tragedy struck.

“We found out there was still a need for homes that had been damaged by Hurricane Michael,” Operation Blessing U.S. Disaster Relief Senior Director Anthony Lloyd said.

Hurricane Michael caused severe structural and water damage to their home, forcing them to abandon it.

“So in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, we started to find homes and the Locke home was just the most recent iteration that needed help,” Lloyd said.

Help came from one humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, along with other partnerships, and more than two dozen volunteers to give the Locke family a gift that’s one of a kind.

“We replaced the drywall, insulation, a couple of areas had floors redone. They have new bathroom fixtures and cabinets. In the kitchen, we redid the kitchen completely as well. There’s some new furniture that was provided by partners and donors as well,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd says this six-week project exemplifies what the organization is meant to do.

“It’s what we do, it’s so important when you live out a life of service as a humanitarian organization demonstrating God’s love by helping people that are in need of help and recovery,” Lloyd said.

During this recovery, the organization placed the Locke family in a camper where they were able to stay while their home was being rebuilt on their property.

Lloyd says they found the Locke family through Lighthouse Church.

Locke did not want to go on camera but says that he is incredibly grateful for the organization and all the people who helped make this possible.

Congratulations to the Locke family and thank you for your service.

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